Toll fee of bridge crossing İzmit Gulf jumps before construction even completed
The three-kilometer bridge over the İzmit Gulf is projected to be the longest suspension bridge in the world.The toll for an under-construction bridge over the İzmit Gulf as part of the Istanbul-İzmir highway project has already increased, before it has even been opened.
The increase is due to the Turkish Lira's depreciation against the U.S. dollar since officials announced the fee four years ago at the bridge's groundbreaking ceremony on Oct. 29, 2010. The toll fee to cross the bridge had been set at $35 plus value added tax, but at that time $1 cost 1.43 liras, way below the approximately 2.3 liras today.
The three-kilometer bridge is projected to be the longest suspension bridge in the world.
It will cut the 70-minute drive around the gulf to only six minutes and is part of a large highway project that will link industrial Istanbul to İzmir, another industrial hub, as well as many Aegean tourism destinations.
Officials calculate that the project will cut the journey time between the two cities to three-and-a-half hours, from the nearly nine hours on today’s roads. There will be six lanes on the under-construction bridge, in addition to a pedestrian lane.
The project is being built by six companies under the Otoyol A.Ş. consortium. As the construction continues, the height of the towers of the bridge already exceeds 120 meters.
The highway project consists of 384 kilometers of highway and 43 kilometers of linking roads.
Recently, another project, a bridge to linking the Asian and European sides of the country over the Dardanelles Strait, was initiated by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
The first concrete step for the construction of the Dardanelles Bridge has been taken after the project was included in a development plan prepared for the provinces of Çanakkale and Balıkesir. Its estimated length will be 3,700 meters, and roads will also be built to link it to the main road between Istanbul and İzmir. However, the project is still in its infancy.